10 Best Portable Inverter Generator Reviews – Powerful And Affordable (2019)

Traditionally, generators have been used as a form of power source in many situations. However, despite their efficiency, portability issues are a bummer for many users; in any case, a majority of the generators are heavy& bulky, and getting them from one place to another is a nuisance.

That was until inverter generators came into play. Inverter generators, seen as blood cousins to the traditional generators are highly portable, stable, powerful and convenient.

They are famous for their lightness and quiet performance.

After our extensive research, we concluded that the Champion 3100 RV ready portable inverter generator is the best portable inverter generator in the market. Still, the other inverter generators on our list have desirable features that you would want, but the Champion has the edge over them.

Our Top 3 Quick Picks

Comparison Table & Runner Ups

Looking at the best portable generators? Or are maybe looking or a specific feature? Or perhaps you’re on a tight budget?

In the comparison table below, we shall provide you with a snippet of the top ten portable inverter generators.

In our comparison table below, we shall highlight the major features or rather the selling points of each of the ten inverter generators, compare their prices and see how they compare and contrast against each other.

Im​age

Product Name

Features

Price

Availability

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

WEN 56200i

Weight: 48lbs

Wattage: 2000w

Noise: 51dB

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1 gallon

$$$

Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

Champion 3100

Weight: 80 lbs

Wattage: 3100

Noise: 58dB

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1.6 Gallon

$$$

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator

Yamaha EF2000iSv2

Weight: 41lbs

Wattage: 2000w

Noise: 51.5dB

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1.1 gallons

$$$

Briggs & Stratton P2200 Portable Inverter Generator

Briggs & Stratton 30651 P220

Weight: 54.6 lbs

Wattage: 2200w

Noise: 59dB

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank:1 gallon

$$$

Yamaha EF2400iSHC Portable Inverter Generator

Yamaha EF2400iSHC

Weight: 75lbs

Wattage: 2400

Noise: 53dB

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1.6 gallons

$$$$

Champion 3400 RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

Champion 3400

Weight: 99lbs

Wattage: 3400

Noise: 59 dBA

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1.6 gallons

$$$$

Briggs & Stratton P2200 Portable Inverter Generator

Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000

Weight: 85 lbs

Wattage: 3000w

Noise: 58dBA

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1.5 Gallons

$$$

Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Portable Inverter Generator

Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200

Weight: 46 lbs

Wattage: 2200w

Noise: 53 dB

Starting Method: Recoil 

Fuel tank: 1.2 gallons

$$$

Champion 3100 Portable Inverter Generator

Champion 3100 (wireless remote start)

Weight: 96.6lbs

Wattage: 3100

Noise: 58 dBA

Starting Method: Remote start 

Fuel tank: 1.6 Gallons

$$$

Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Westinghouse iGen2200

Weight: 48lbs

Wattage: 1800

Noise: 52 dB

Starting Method: Recoil

Fuel tank: 1.2 gallons

$$$

Top 10: Best Portable Inverter Generator Reviews

Do you find yourself dealing with frequent power outages because of storms? Or are you an outdoor enthusiast who loves spending a lot of time camping, fishing or tailgating on nice days?

If that's you, then a reliable portable inverter generator will serve you like a quiet, efficient and reliable source of power.

Though these generators will not power every appliance and device that each member of your family uses, they will perform a majority of the basic as well as the advanced tasks such as charging your phone, charging your laptop, keeping the food cold and warming up your house during emergencies.

For long as I can remember since becoming an outdoor aficionado, inverter generators have formed an essential part of me, and in my opinion, at the very least, I consider these portable power source as devices that make everything happen. After all, limitation on power is the worst form of limitation.

So, if you are ready to elevate your level of fun, we shall help you find the best generator for your needs.

Nonetheless, understand that buying an inverter generator is a lifestyle choice, and your decision is largely influenced by your specific need. For instance, you might choose a generator depending on how you use it, how often you move, level of noise, flexibility and more.

To make things easier for you, we've summarized a review of the top ten inverter generators. And while at it, we have highlighted the major features, and pros & cons of each. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you'll have decided on which generator to go for.

1. WEN 56200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

With an easy-to-find bright and yellow design, WEN 56200i is a carb-compliant inverter generator that delivers a steady flow of 2,000 starting watts or 1,600 running watts. With such power, the WEN inverter generator is an ideal choice for all your emergency as well as simple power needs.

Beyond power, WEN is also popular for its quiet operation, allowing you to use it for camping operations, as an RV generator, for your exciting tailgating parties, at job worksite, at home in the event of power outages or for any application requiring a portable power source.

Quick Summary

  • Quiet operation that is in line with the US Department of Health and Human Services
  • EPA III AND CARB Compliant
  • Sine wave technology for pure, safe power
  • Comes with 5 volts USB port, 12 volts DC port and 3-prong 120V receptacles (2 nos.)
WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

While the quiet operation of the WEN is surely a blockbuster, a major highlight on this generator lies on its aggressive pricing. Though a latecomer to the inverter market, WEN has done well to meet the demands of their users while still keeping their units at a fraction of a price.

Back to the quiet operation, WEN 56200i replicates pure sine wave and limits the harmonic distortion. While you do not need to understand the jargon above, it simply means that this generator is extremely quiet and will allow you to run your delicate electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Quiet Operation

Under the hood of the WEN, we have a 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine runs at 51dB, which is the same sound produced at normal conversation. What this means is that you can go camping or tailgating, and stay charged without disrupting the fun of everyone around you.

Clean Energy-Minimal Harmonic Distortion

Leveraging the sine waveform of energy, WEN 56200i generate clean energy that is free from voltage spikes and drops.

Contrary to the other form of energy, you'll not need to worry about a sudden surge destroying your devices. Beyond protecting your devices, this form of energy is also more environmentally friendly.

Highly Portable

Weighing at a mere 48 pounds with a convenient carrying handle to maximize portability, the WEN is indeed lightweight and easy to move around without much strain.

Featuring a cuboidal design that resembles a suitcase, the WEN is easy to stow ways and transport, making it a handy equipment where space is of the essence.

Parallel Connection Capability

Need more power than 2000 watts?

The WEN 56200i Parallel Connection Kit allows you to hook up a second generator to get the additional power.

Eco Mode

The eco mode is an awesome performance feature that lets you maximize the fuel economy. By engaging this mode, you will allow the generator’s motor to adjust its fuel consumption to minimal.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Low fuel indicator and automatic shutdown
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Super-quiet operation
  • Lightweight
  • Clean and safe energy

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • The oil container is not effectively designed, thus causing spillage of oil
Editor

Expert Tip

If you are looking to economize on your operation, I would advise that you let the generator run on Eco Mode. This will allow the generator to adjust its fuel consumption, and guard against needless use of the fuel.


Admin | Power Tools Geek

2. Champion Power Equipment 75531i – Good for RV’s (B00BBDCE1S)

Power is of the essence for any RV generator. In any case, an RV generator must handle heavy load such as refrigerators, air conditioning units, microwave, hair dryers to coffee makes. A 2000-watt generator such as WEN 56200i can't provide that much.

Quick S​ummary

  • Quick Touch Panel
  • Ultra-Quiet Operation – 58 dBA
  • Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics
  • Smart Economy Mode
Champion 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

As you would expect from any great inverter generator, the Champion Equipment provide clean output supply and will guard you're electronic against overloads.

As I had mentioned earlier, heavy loads usually draw a lot of power when turned on, almost three times the operating power. Often, the huge spike triggers the overload protection in the 2000-watt generator, but the Champion Equipment can handle this demand.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Reliable Power Output

At the heart of the Champion is a 171 cc overhead valve engine that is both reliable and powerful producing a total of 3100 surge watts and 2800 running watts.

With this kind of power, you can run a variety of rather large appliances at home or job sites. The generator is so powerful that it will satiate even the large power tools and even the power-hungriest appliances such as conditioners, and this makes it an ideal choice for RV use as well.

Quiet Operation

With a noise level rated at 58 decibels when measured at 23 feet, the Champion is relatively quiet.

At 58dB, the Champion is a tad louder than a majority of the common lower wattage inverter, and many consumers report that the generator is louder than they expected.

The good news is that at 58dB, the Champion is way quieter than most of the 3000-watt inverter generator in its class.

Ideal for RVs and Camping

Weighing at 80 pounds, alongside wheels and a foldaway handle, this makes the Champion ideal for RVs and camping.

Though the 80 pounds is still a weighty generator, we have seen many portable generators weighing 100-220 pounds or more and stretching the definition of "portable," But at less than 100 pounds, the Champion is quite mobile and easier to use at multiple locations.

Environmental-friendly and Fuel Efficient

Generators can be fuel guzzlers.  Fortunately, with the Champion, you get a CARB-Compliant generator with both reduced emissions and better fuel economy.

Further, this unit features a smart economy mode which promotes quieter operation, while boosting better fuel efficiency.

Easy to Use Control Panel

Sporting a Quick Touch Panel, the Champion is easy to use as it allows you to access all your controls in a single spot.

WHAT I LIKED

  • High power output
  • Easy to use/control
  • Quiet operation
  • Reliable
  • Low oil shutoff mechanism

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Heavy

Expert Tip

The way Champion measures its load is different than other generators. If you're planning to use more than a quarter of the Champions power and want the full 8 hours, you'll need another generator. However, if you are planning to use a bit of Champion's power all at one time, the benefits of inverter and fuel economy outweigh a shorter runtime.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

3. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 (B002RWK9N2)

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is both a lightweight and user-friendly generator that is great for outdoor use. With a maximum power of 2000 watts, this generator will provide you with enough power to run the AC in your recreational vehicle, and any other appliance that you would want to use on a hot or cold day.

Quick Summary

  • Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor
  • Smart Throttle
  • CARB compliant
  • Inverter system with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Portable Inverter Generator

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Quiet Operation

The Smart Throttle system, a great muffler, and a noise-reducing rubber vibration isolation effect are all fitted on the Yamaha to make it more accommodative and quiet.

At a quarter load, this generator produces 51.5 decibels, which is very quiet and you won’t even hear it from a reasonable distance.

For comparison, the noise generated is about as loud as a quiet conversation at home.

Smart Operation

A load sensing mechanism of this generator allows you to adjust the speeds of the engine to match the load and this translates to better fuel efficiency as well as noise control.

Stability

Selecting a generator that offers stable power output is of the essence if you do not want to fry your devices.

This Yamaha power source uses Pulse Width Modulation, coupled with their Pure Sine wave inverter system that will give you both voltage and frequency levels that are compatible with even your most sensitive electronics.

Portability

When it comes to size and portability, Yamaha generator will surely give you a smooth time carrying it along with you and transporting it. The generator is small, highly portable and lightweight.

Weighing at a mere 41 pounds coupled with a built-in handle, the Yamaha Ef2000iSv2 is portable as it can ever get.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Advanced controller system
  • Automatic circuit breaker
  • Comfortable handle

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Not powerful enough
  • A tad expensive

4. Briggs & Stratton P2200 - Ideal for Mini Campers

With the reliability and performance backed by 100 years of innovation, Briggs & Stratton is a household name that you can trust.

Like a majority of the smaller generators on the market, the Briggs Stratton P2200 has a small footprint and a lightweight plastic design.

Ideal for mini campers, the P2200 is not bulky, will not weight down your camper and will not take much of the precious space that you don't have.

Quick Summary

  • OHV engine and a one-gallon fuel tank
  • Safe for laptops
  • 1-gallon fuel tank for up to 8 hours of continuous operation at 25% load
  • Parallel connection
  • 59dB operating volume
Briggs & Stratton P2200 Portable Inverter Generator

Featuring a standard recoil pull start, the P2200 is easy to use and is easily started by even the most novice generator user.

One of the major highlights of this generator is the aesthetically pleasing control center.

Better yet, the motor is surrounded by the housing which helps the generator look much more modern, and more like a portable battery pack rather than an actual generator.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Sleek Design

The P2200 was made with campers and tailgaters in mind, and it shows. For starters, the sleek, lightweight design is not only appealing to the eyes but incredibly easy to transport.

Coming at a mere 54 pounds coupled with supporting H-handle design, it’s quite easy to move this generator from one place to the other and better yet, it offers enough room for two people to share the load.

Reliable Power

Now to the ever so important subject of power, this compact powerhouse includes an OHV engine capable of generating 2,200 watts starting watts and 1,700 running watts.

The engine comes alongside a one-gallon fuel tank that runs at just 25% of the load and will allow you to power your necessities for up to eight consecutive hours.

Parallel Connection

It’s evident that the Briggs P2200 will not be able to power all your heavy duty appliances. The good news, however, is that it comes with a parallel connection system that will allow you to connect two such engines for more power.

While the parallel connection system is a standard in our list of the best portable inverter generator, what makes the Briggs and Stratton system unique is that it allows you to connect two mismatch engines, i.e., engines with different power outputs. For instance, you can connect the P2200 with the P3000 for more power.

Versatility

Built to power a variety of electrical appliances, the Briggs P2200 comes with two different types o power source receptacles.

The first is a 12V DC port that allows for any cigarettes lighter style to be used and is great for charging phones, tablets, and any other 12V power source.

The generator also houses two 120V electrical outlets for the major household appliances such as refrigerator, and microwave.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Great compact design with sturdy plastic housing
  • Quiet to run
  • Fuel efficient with long running time
  • Great power

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • No USB Outlets
  • Non-CARB compliant, however, the muffler screen plus the discharge emissions are within CARB compliant levels

Expert Tip

Though the Briggs and Stratton P2200 clean energy with harmonic distortion less than 3%, it may disappoint a lot of radio users as it creates a lot of radio frequency interference. To fix this problem, you will need to wind the inverter's extension cords around ferrite toroid cores, and this should help to reduce the sounds of Radio Frequency Interference.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

5. Yamaha EF2400iSHC

The Yamaha EF2400Ishc is just the perfect RV or smaller backup generator for the average consumer. This little powerhouse packs a punch and offers lots of super-clean power. More importantly, the entire unit runs with efficiency, and quietly.

Don’t let the size deceive you; though compact, this dynamo will provide you with 2,000 watts of continuous power and can surge up to 2,400 watts.

What I like most about this portable inverter generator is that its relatively lightweight, fuel efficient, aesthetic and comes in a usable continuous 2000-watt size range.

Quick Summary

  • High current output
  • Longest emission durability
  • Powerful and compact generator
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
  • Smart Throttle
  • Oil Watch Warning System
Yamaha EF2400iSHC Portable Inverter Generator

A major highlight on the Yamaha EF2400Ishc is that it complies with the engine durability ratings by both the EPA as well as the California Air Resources Board, and as such, it’s among the most reliable and technically advanced portable generators in the market.

The Yamaha engine utilizes unleaded gas as its fuel source and is capable of holding up to 1.6 gallons of fuel at a time. The engine has the capability of an incredible run of 8.6 hours at 25% and 6.5 at 50%.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Clean Power-Pulse Width Modulation

Like a majority of the Yamaha inverter generators, this one comes with a Pulse Width Modulation (PMW), a feature that allows the generator to produce a "clean" form of power.

This high-quality electricity is particularly good for both delicate and sophisticated electronics such as modern computers, flat screen TV, tablets and mobile phones.

Smart Features

Performance-wise, Yamaha is fitted with a variety of technologies that allows the generator to run efficiently, and on auto-mode.

For instance, the Smart Throttle feature is an exciting technology that modulates engine speed and automatically adjusts the speed to match the load in real time.  The results are a quiet running, maximum fuel efficiency and an incredible run-time of 8.6 hours at ¼ -capacity load.

Another yet wonderful feature is Yamaha’s Oil Watch Warning System, a feature that automatically shuts off the generator if it senses low oil and this helps in preventing engine damage from low oil, not to mention it provides added peace of mind.

Quiet

The Yamaha generator produces amazingly low levels of noise, which you are bound to love. While the extent of the noise generated will vary with the level of stress you put on it, the range of the noise typically remains between 53 decibels to 60 decibels.

Reliable Power Output

The Yamaha inverter generator is a powerhouse, with a starting wattage of 2400 watts and running wattage of 2000 watts.

Sure, it's not the highest wattages we've seen on our list of the best portable inverter generators, but this capacity is more than enough for a lot of people, especially considering the extensive range of items you can run with 2000 watts including air-conditioners of up to 10,000 BTU.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Air-cooling features to prevent overheating
  • Two 120V, 20-amp outlets, and one 12V DC outlets
  • Easy to handle
  • User-friendly panel

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Cannot be used in parallel with other generators

Expert Tip

The Yamaha EF2400Ishc does not have any 30-amp outlet, which is quite a bummer. Nevertheless, this setback is easy to overcome with a normal 15-30-amp adaptor available in any local store.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

6. Champion 3400 (B01FAWMMEY/)

The Champion Power Equipment 3400-Watt is the perfect combination of versatility and convenience. A quiet and lightweight companion for your next camping or tailgating event, this inverter will provide you with plenty of power for your essentials during an outage.

Sporting a reliable recoil start, alongside Cd Start Technology, this inverter is a breeze to start and will not cause any issues even in cold weather.

Quick Summary

  • Dual fuel
  • Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Clean power
  • Reliable power
Champion 3400 RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator

With the Champion 3400, you can connect your sensitive electronics with confidence, thanks to the clean power (Less than 3% THD) generated by this inverter.

Sporting an oil shut-off sensor, this 0.6-quart inverter is designed with your safety in mind.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Reliable Power Output

The Champion 3400 is powered by an OHV commercial V-Twin engine of 192 c.c.

As we had mentioned earlier, the Champion is a dual fuel inverter (gas & propane), meaning it has different wattage for different kinds of fuels.

When running with propane, the Champion has 3060 watts and running watts at 2790. On the other hand, when running with gas, it has 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts.

From my observation, whatever fuel type you use, the Champion 3400 has the right abilities to be considered a great RV generator for performing a majority of your household tasks.

Silent Operation

Though the Champion may not match the quietness of a Yamaha generator, it’s quiet enough to ensure peace for you nonetheless.

At 58 Decibels, you cannot call the Champion 3400 loud by any means.

Smart Economy Mode

Once the Economy mode is triggered, the Champion reduces the electrical load, and consequently, the engine automatically idles lower, thus providing quieter operation, extended engine life, and a higher fuel economy.

Optional Parallel Kit

Looking to boost your energy needs?

The optional Parallel Kit will allow you to connect two inverters to increase your power output. Better yet, the kit comes with a standard 50-amp RV outlet with enough power to start and run two 15,000 BTU RV air conditioners.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lots of power for its size
  • Dual fuel
  • Ultra Quiet

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • No fuel gauge
  • Limited clearance for oil changes

Expert Tip

Though the drain plug has a knock out under it to let the oil drain out the bottom of the engine, there is limited clearance under the body of the machine too. To overcome this, you can use a gallon zip lock freezer bag because it’s only 0.6 of a quart you need to drain.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

7. Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000

The Briggs & Stratton P300 is not your everyday generator.

Though relatively new, it’s one of the new models that utilize unique advanced technology to generate cleaner and safer power.

Quick Summary

  • Running Amps 21.7A
  • Clean and instant power
  • (4) household outlets (1) 12-volt 30-amp locking outlet
  • 1.5-gallon fuel tank
  • Quieter than a traditional camping generator
Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 Portable Inverter Generator

With a starting wattage of 3000 watts and a running wattage of 2600 watts, this inverter is designed primarily for RVs and small businesses. However, the inverter generator can also be used as a partial home backup for power outages, though its power supply is on the lower side.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Best for Campers

Like we have mentioned above, the Briggs & Stratton is a camper’s dream.

Out of the box, this inverter generator comes with everything you need for powering up standard campsite appliances including lighting, travel refrigerator, cooking appliances to air conditioners.

PowerSmart Technology

The P3000’s utilizes PowerSmart technology for improving fuel efficiency and further reducing noise.

What this technology does is that it allows the engine to rev up or down depending on the current load automatically.

Sure, the PowerSmart technology is standard in Briggs equipment, but it should be of a concern for you looking to save on fuel costs on the long-term.

Easy to Use

Tailored for the avid camper, the Briggs P3000 is compact and portable. What's more? It comes with luggage-style roll wheels and handles for easy maneuverability.

When it comes to usability, one of its best features is the Statstation LCD on the control panel. The control display is intuitive and will take away the worry especially if you need to monitor the different operating aspects of your generator constantly.

Reliable Power Output

The P300 is from the PowerSmart series, and as its name suggest, it's rated 3000-watt starting and 2600 watts running.

According to the manufacturer, the P3000 has a remarkable runtime of 10 hours at ¼ load.

When on a full tank, the P3000 will run for 10 hours at 25% load, which works out to 0.15 gallon per hour.

Based on the above consumption stats, the P3000 is not a guzzler with a majority of the generators with the same power output.

What's more? The P3000 allows you to boost the power output, thanks to the parallel connector system that allows you to connect to a second inverter.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Consistent clean and safe power
  • Easy to use
  • Rated 59 decibel, it’s one of the quietest generators
  • Fuel efficient

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Like a majority of generators, the Briggs needs a “cool down” period before refilling it. While it’s a safety measure, it’s an inconvenience.

Expert Tip

If you are going to store the P3000 for more than two months, we recommend you empty the tank. Alternatively, you can fill the unit with gas and add stabilizer. This will prevent the gas from "gumming up" after a long period of inactivity.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

8. Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 (B071VNCWGL/)

Looking for a portable inverter generator quiet enough to bring to camping, but powerful enough to cater to your needs?

The Generac GP2200i is an ideal choice that will provide you with stable and quiet power without disturbing the surrounding wildlife or neighbours.

Though it has a modest power output of 2000 watts, it’s one of the most reliable, affordable and quietest inverter generators in its class.

Quick Summary

  • Quiet, Compact, Easy to use
  • Truepower technology
  • Built-in handle
  • Economy mode
  • Parallel connect system
Generac 7117 GP2200i 2200 Portable Inverter Generator

Ideal for the outdoor enthusiasts, the GP2200i inverter generator provides nature lovers and open-air enthusiasts with a versatile power solution for a variety of outdoor activities.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Truepower Technology

This inverter generator is equipped with Truepower technology; a feature that provides an ultra-clean and stable power supply for the sensitive appliances, tools, and electronics.

1.2 Gallon Fuel Tanks

Boasting of an enormous compact and fully-enclose 1.2-gallon fuel tank, this inverter generator can provide a steady electrical supply for up to 10 hours at 25% load.

Compact, and Lightweight

As we had hinted earlier, the GP2200i is an ideal choice for the active individual who enjoys outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

Its idealness is attributed to the lightweight construction, compact size, and a built-in handle.

Economy Mode Option

For those looking to economize on their fuel consumption, turning on the Economy Mode will allow the engine to run according to the existing load. Beyond economizing on fuel, the economy mode also comes with a noise reduction feature that will drastically reduce the noise generated.

Easy to Use

Sporting LED Status Lights, the inverter generator will allow you to tell the oil status of this portable generator.

Another yet important feature on this generator is the Off/choke/run knob that allows you to initiate and easy-to-use start dial.

Multi-Functional

For optimal usage, this reliable generator has a USB outlet alongside the DC outlet.

Moreover, it's parallel-ready, making it easily connectable to another inverter for twice the power.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Offer stable and clean power supply for more than 10 hours
  • Intelligently designed with a noise reduction feature
  • Easy to start because of its off/choke/run knob

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Weighing at 46.6 pounds, it's a tad heavy for some

Expert Tip

While you do not ground the generator, when plugging a device directly to the generator, we recommend that you ground this power source using an earth-driven ground rod when hooking it up with a manual transfer switch.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

9. Champion 3100

Sporting a cuboidal design, this portable generator is lightweight (weighs 95 pounds), compact and so it`s quite solid.

Generating lots of clean power, this 3100-watt power equipment throttles the engine up or down electronically to meet your power demand. For instance, the inverter generator can start and run power-hungry appliances like 15,000BTU Air-conditioners, sump pumps and other appliances with ease.

Quick Summary

  • Wireless remote start
  • Convenient electric start with a 3-position ignition switch
  • Clean electricity
  • Ultra-quiet operation
Champion 3100 Portable Inverter Generator

Utilizing a Wireless Remote technology, it means you can leave this generator out in the garage and still switch it on from inside the house. What’s more? All the generator controls are conveniently located in one area rather than being scattered in different locations, and this helps with easy and better control.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Good runtime and fuel efficiency

With regards to fuel performance and operation efficiency, expect this inverter generator to provide you with up to 8 hours of run time at 25% load

A major contributor to the efficiency of the generator is the Economy Control Switch, which automatically lowers the engine fuel use when it's not in use.

Beyond the Economy Control Switch, the RPM features functionally automatically according to the size of the load, and as a result, this will reduce the noise as well as minimize engine wear.

Quick Touch Panel

A quick touch panel places all the controls in a convenient and easy-to-reach position.

Relatively Quiet Operation

Designed with an inverter technology in mind, this model functions quietly. With a noise rating of 58 decibels, the ultra-quiet operation makes this inverter generator ideal for RVs, tailgating, or the perfect backup power for your home.

Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics

Champion 3100 generates a computer optimized waveform that produces reliable, stable current suitable for a majority of the sensitive equipment.

RV ready with a 120V 30A RV plus two 120V 20A household outlets, the Champion produces clean electricity with less than 3% THD ideal for laptops, smartphones, and other sensitive electronics.

Powerful Output

The robust 171cc Champion overhead valve produces a total of 3100 surge watts and 2800 running watts, sufficient for running a variety of appliances at home when recreating or on offsite jobs.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Fitted with built-in handles and wheels for enhanced portability
  • Automatic overload protection
  • Intuitive design
  • Lightweight

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Though it runs smoothly on flat surfaces, the small wheels make it difficult to run the inverter generator on rugged terrains.

Expert Tip

If you are having difficulty to start the generator in cold weather, you may want to use the manual choke lever under the back panel for a controlled start until it warms up.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

10. Westinghouse iGen2200

The Westinghouse iGen2200 is an affordable portable inverter, costing nearly as half as much than other high-end generators, but still offers the same output and performance.

Though it's not the quietest inverter generators we have reviewed, it is unexpectedly quiet and will not annoy you, neighbors.

Quick Summary

  • 1800 Rated Watts and 2200 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD
  • Weight 46 pounds
  • Extremely quiet
  • Parallel Capable
  • Fuel efficient
Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

The Westinghouse inverter generator has an appealing compact and modest design that is devoid of complex controls and features.

In my opinion at the very least, this generator is a simple power source that is exclusively designed for a single purpose: to deliver clean and reliable power.

In a classic blue finish, this generator is also attractive, and it wouldn't look out of place wherever you decide to use it.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Reliable Performance

Sporting a 1.2-gallon tank of gas, this inverter generator can run up to 12 hours at 25% of the rated load.

The inverter also comes with a parallel connection cable that allows you to connect the generator to another iGen series unit for more power.

Convenience

The iGen2200 will provide you with a variety of features at a great value.

For instance, utilizing a double-insulated enclosure, asymmetrical fans, and dual-quiet mufflers to reduce the noise, the iGen220 has everything that you would desire in the best portable inverter.

Versatility

Sporting two 120V household outlets and two 5V USB ports, the iGen is tailored to meet the varying energy needs of your households.

What's more? This generator produces high-quality energy making it safe for use with sensitive electronics.

Moreover, its spark resistant as well as CARB Compliant.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight
  • Clean energy
  • Powerful
  • Easy to use

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Running it on full load creates noise

Expert Tip

Though the fuel efficiency is an awesome way to conserve your fuel, do not use it when connecting an appliance with an electric motor such as a refrigerator.

Devices with motors require peak watts to start up, and the generator might not increase its speed fast enough to handle the surge load.


David Hughes | Power Tools Geek

Portable Inverter Generator Buying Guide

This article aims to ensure that you are happy with your purchase. For this to happen the value, an invertible generator offers must exceed or at the very least correspond with the price you pay for it.

While you can count the money, you can never count value. The good news is that you can get a feel for it if you know where to look.

This section is all about getting the value for your money.

Why Should You Choose an Inverter Generator Over a Conventional/Regular Generator?

Both conventional and inverter generators are an awesome source of power. But why would you consider an inverter generator over the regular generator?

Let’s look at some of the benefits of inverter generators over the regular generators.

Noise

The issue of noise is one that truly separates these two categories of generators. Inverter generators are often designed from the ground up to be comparatively quiet.

In any case, these generators are fitted with quieter engines, special mufflers, and sound dampening technology to reduce noise to amazingly low levels.

The maximum noise levels that you can get with an inverter generator is 60 decibels, and to give you a reference for this noise, 60dB is similar to the conversations in an office environment. So, pretty quiet.

Fuel Efficiency

Given that a majority of the inverter generators are small and compact, they have limited fuel tanks translating to lower consumption.

An inverter fuel efficiency can translate to saving as much as 40%, and this will save your money and help to reduce exhaust emissions.

Clean Output

Inverter generators use a rectifier to convert the AC power to DC and capacitors to smooth the power to a certain degree.

With an inverter generator, the output is well regulated, and the inverter system produces consistent power characteristics independent of the engine speed.

The results are much "cleaner" power, i.e., "pure sine waves."

Why is this important?

A majority of the electronics use a sophisticated circuitry of microprocessors; having clean power is of the essence. Given that these microprocessors are extremely sensitive to the quality of electricity using "unclean" electricity can cause the malfunctioning of the devices or even damage to the device.

Size / Weight / Portability

A majority of the inverter generators are generally small, compact and lightweight for electrical generation.

In any case, their dimensions are just about cubic feet, with their weight ranging in between 30 to 50 pounds.

This is to mean the inverter generators are a breeze to transport and store, and they will easily fit in your car, RV or boat when going for a hike.

This is as opposed to the conventional generators, which are bulky, heavy and often requiring substantial metal frame and wheels.

Parallel Operation

Sure, the conventional generator has a greater power output than the inverter generators, the latter can be paired with another identical unit to double up the power capacity.

With the parallel system in place, it means you can use two smaller, lighter generators to provide the same wattage and amperage of one much larger generator, without sacrificing all the benefits of the smaller, lightweight inverter units.

5 Reasons You Would Want to Buy an Inverter Generator

There is always a huge decision to make when buying a generator. If you are stuck at whether to buy a portable inverter generator, here are five scenarios that would make the inverter unit an excellent choice;

1) I Want to Watch TV While Tailgating

At times, you want to be into two places at once-you want to keep the party going and at the same time, want to catch your favorite TV show. If this is you, then you would want to consider an inverter generator.

Inverter generators are convenient, lightweight and compact, and this makes them truly and easily portable.

With these units, you can throw them alongside your TV in your trunk and still have extra space for a cooler.

2) I Can’t Stand Noise

If you’re anything like me, noises drive me crazy, especially when I’m reading my favorite book.

Solution?

Get an inverter generator that will keep the noises at a bare minimum.

Better yet, you’ll not have your neighbors cursing and frowning on you when you meet next.

3) I Only Need to Charge my Cell Phone

If you are looking forward to charging your phone or any other sensitive electronics such as laptops, computers or tablets, an inverter generator is practically a requirement.

As we mentioned earlier, an inverter generator will provide a much smoother stream of electricity, and greatly reduce the odds of destroying them.

4) I Don’t Want to Kill the Planet

While all the generators use some form of fossil fuel, meaning none of them improves the health of the planet, the inverter generator is much more fuel-efficient.

Beyond fuel efficiency, they don’t produce much electricity, thus giving any of them a smaller environmental footprint, as they only generate as much electricity as is demanded of them.

5) Don’t Want to Refuel After Every 5 Minutes

If you are hoping to turn on the generator on and leave it running for most of the day without worrying about the oil levels, you need an inverter generator.

Though it does not hold as much fuel as the conventional generator, it has an automatic oil shutoff system that will switch off the generator once it detects low oil levels.

How to Select the Right Generator for the Job?

Choosing the right inverter generator has always been a daunting task for many. However, it does not need to be so; in the section below, we shall highlight everything you need to know on selecting the right powerhouse for the job.

1) Determine your power needs: Before making a purchase, ask yourself what you will need to power. Make a list of all the electronics that you intend to power. Is it a TV, phone charging, microwave or the refrigerator? Some of the families might require power for their in-home medical equipment, while others need to ensure they have sufficient power to keep stocked supplies in ice. For the outdoor enthusiasts, make a list of the heating or entertainment appliances or accessories that your family and friends will be using at once.

2) Determine what it takes to start each appliance: Ensure that you can start (not simply run) your appliances.

Understanding Wattage Requirements

There are two basic power requirements that you should consider before making a purchase.

The first one is the starting wattage also known as startup power, max watt or peak power. It's is the amount of wattage required to start an appliance with a motor, and might twice the wattage required to run the appliance.

The second power measurement is the continuous power, which is the amount of wattage required for the operation of your appliances under normal load.

Here is a breakdown of the starting wattage and continuous wattage of some of the popular household and job site equipment.

Starting Wattage

Starting Wattage

Continuous Wattage

Electric Griddle

2300

1600

Desktop Computer w/ 18" LCD Monitor

300

300

Inflator Pump

150

50

60-watt bulb

0

60

Freezer

2200

600

Space heater

0

1800

Iron

0

1200

Washing Machine

2250

1120

Garage Door Opener

2350

875

Air Conditioner (10,000 BTU's)

3000

1500

Box Fan

113

113

CD/DVD Player

100

100

Dishwasher - Hot Dry

3000

1200

Inkjet printer

10

10

1/6 horsepower electric motor

500

750

3) Calculate your total power needs: Calculating your total power needs is a two-part equation. First, you’ll need to add up all the running wattage for all items you wish to power simultaneously, then add that to the highest of the starting wattages. This way, you will know how much power you need to start and run your appliances.

Features That Count

Don’t let rain, snow, or the wind keep you in the dark. Consider these options to ensure you get the best portable inverter generator for your energy needs.

Automatic Start

As its name suggests, an automatic start will automate the entire operation of the generator. For instance, the automatic start will allow you generator to go on once the power goes off-without you having to lift a finger.

This is a great feature, especially if you love traveling a lot or work away from home and can’t always be there in case of an emergency.

Electric Start

The electric start is a push-button alternative to the pull-staring generators. It removes the hassle of starting your generator, though it’s a tad pricier.

Alternative Fuel Capacity

While a majority of the portable generators run on gasoline, there are those that are equipped with a propane tank or natural-gas line for convenience.

Fuel Gauge

A fuel gauge is of the essence, especially during the long blackouts as will appreciate the ability to check at a glance how much fuel is remaining in your portable generator.

Low-Oil Shutoff

Another awesome feature, the low oil shutoff will generally shut down the generator once the oil level dwindles beyond a certain level to prevent engine damage.

Multiple Outlets

Multiple outlets are ideal for spreading the load. Having an inverter generator with at least four outlets is recommendable, though it's only ideal for those in an extreme pinch at home or for when you are away at a campsite.

The Essence of a Transfer Switch

A transfer switch is a feature that safely connects a home standby or portable inverter generator to your circuit panel through a single cable.

While some users often neglect using the transfer switch, skipping it could endanger utility workers, result in the frying of appliances or damage the generator itself.

Therefore, we recommend that you hire a licensed electrician to install the transfer switch. Alternatively, if you are on a budget, you can install an interlock device instead. The latter will cover your service panel’s main cutoff switch, and so when the power pops back, you can’t accidentally put the generator on.

Safety Precautions of Using a Portable Inverter Generator

  • Never connect a generator directly to your home’s wiring
  • Never run a generator indoors or in partly closed areas such as garages
  • Operate the generator only on level surfaces, where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dust or corrosive vapors
  • Never overfill the fuel tank
  • Never store a generator for long with gasoline
  • A generator must always be properly grounded
  • Do not overload your generator
  • Always inspect your generator regularly

Conclusion

As you can see, choosing the best invertible generator is not as challenging as it sounds.

Now, you have a list of the top ten invertible generators, plus you are now more knowledgeable on how to pick the right one for your needs.

David Hughes
 

Hey, I’m David Hughes - a free spirit with a passion for power tools blogging. With more than a decade in the construction field, my mission is to help the everyday workers realize their dream by sharing on creative ideas, tips, and reviewing products.

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